Generational marketing is an approach to product development, management of customer relations, communication, and marketing that recognises different needs in different generation groups. Generations are often broken into four defined groups:
Baby Boomers (1946-1964), Generation X (1965-1979), Generation Y/Millennials (1980-1994), Generation Z (1995-present). When advertising, it’s important to understand that different generations interact with digital media differently. So, let’s break each down and look at their digital behaviours.
Baby Boomers are quite traditional in their online and spending behaviours – they are loyal to the brands that they like and are happy to treat themselves and spend their hard-earned money. They value trust, loyalty, and a sense of community when making consumer decisions. They will often research products online, but where possible, prefer to complete the purchase face-to-face. At least 67% of Baby Boomers own a smartphone and Facebook tends to be their social media platform of choice with around 70% creating a profile. Boomers spend more than 20 hours a week enjoying video content, mostly found through Facebook.
Generation X tends to fit into the category of caregiver and quite often are time-poor. They spend their time looking for content that is useful, with content that is ethically produced earning extra brownie points. Generation X is also a sucker for a coupon. 85% of Generation X’ers have a smartphone, with Facebook being their social media platform of choice.
Millennials have their finger on the digital pulse and want everything yesterday. They are happy to jump from business to business if one does not meet their demands, and are less likely to feel a loyalty to one brand. Millennials focus heavily on innovation and status and enjoy being the first to ‘discover’ the next hot thing in digital media. At least 92% of Millennials own a smartphone and they are hungry for video content, especially through Youtube.
Generation Z was born in the digital era and are extremely tech-savvy. They are at least two times more likely to use online stores than any other generation and thrive on options where they are in control. Generation Z are most likely to be found on the social media platforms TikTok and Instagram where they can interact and engage with their friends in short-form videos, which compliments their shortened attention spans. They generally spend around three hours a day watching videos online overtaking traditional viewing behaviours like television.
When creating a marketing campaign, it’s vital to be aware of who your target demographic is and the best way to reach them. For this reason, Generational Marketing is an aspect you must consider when putting together your digital marketing plan in order to utilise your audience and platform.